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Russia to hand 3D model of Palmyra to Syria at St. Petersburg cultural forum

October 30, 15:06 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

Russian experts will hand a 3D model of the city of Palmyra over to Syria during an international cultural forum scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg in November

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, October 30. /TASS/. Russian experts will hand a 3D model of the city of Palmyra over to Syria during an international cultural forum scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg in November, Director General of the State Hermitage Museum Mikhail Piotrovsky said at a TASS press conference on Monday.

"One of the forum’s events will be dedicated to Syria, and on this occasion, a 3D model of Palmyra will be handed over to Syria. It is a whole geophysical scheme," he said.

According to Piotrovsky, a number of agreements are going to be signed at the forum.

Model to help restore city

The 3D model of the city, destroyed by militants in 2015, was created based on photos that archeologists from the Institute for the History of Material Culture at the Russian Academy of Sciences had made in 2015. A Russian expert team, headed by the Institute’s Deputy Director Natalya Solovyova, went to Palmyra in September 2016 in order to record the scale of the destruction, take photos and create a 3D model of the complex.

Solovyova earlier told TASS that it had taken about a year to create the model. According to her, the first stage of the work has been completed so the 3D model is ready. "This model is important, first and foremost, for monitoring the condition of various objects, while renovators can use it for exploring sites and also as a working tool," Solovyova stressed. To demonstrate the model in use, in September, Russian experts re-created Palmyra’s Zenobia Column.

In the future, a computer program is planned to be developed, which will contain information about the studies of the ancient city that took place in the past three centuries. The information system will also contain data on previous attempts to refurbish Palmyra’s monuments.

World heritage site

Palmyra is an ancient city located in Syria. It was an important hub along ancient trade routes, particularly the Great Silk Road, in Western Asia. Its heyday stretched from the 1st-3rd century AD, when a number of architectural monuments were built in the city, which have been preserved in the desert up to this day.

Palmyra’s architectural museum complex is ranked among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. In the 20th century, the city’s ancient buildings were partly refurbished.

Militants of the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) first captured Palmyra in May 2015. In late March 2016, the Syrian government forces, supported by the Russian Aerospace Force, liberated the city, but nine months later, it was retaken by the terrorists. On March 2, 2017, Russian Defense Minister General Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the operation to free Palmyra had been concluded.

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